Sweet energy deal for Mackay Sugar
The power it will produce is expected to reduce the Mackay region’s coal-fired emissions by about 200,000 tonnes per annum.
At full capacity, the Racecourse Cogeneration Plant will produce enough electricity to meet about 30 per cent of the Mackay region’s annual electricity consumption.
It will also provide energy to the Racecourse Mill and adjacent Racecourse Refinery.
The project is expected remove Mackay Sugar from the list of Australia’s top carbon emitters.
Mackay Sugar Chief Executive Officer Quinton Hildebrand said the ‘switch-on’ of green energy from the plant represented a momentous milestone for Mackay Sugar.
“This is the first large-scale cogeneration facility for Mackay, so today’s ‘switch-on’ of green energy is something all stakeholders can be proud of,” he said.
Construction of the 38 megawatt plant commenced at Racecourse Mill in early 2010 and has involved the replacement of one of the mill’s traditional boilers and the installation of a new steam turbine generator.
The traditional boiler was designed to incinerate fibre left after crushing sugar cane, known as bagasse. The new high pressure boiler maximises the steam generation from this bagasse.
In August, Mackay Sugar received a $9.1 million grant from the Federal Government’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program to help boost the company’s overall efficiency.
The Racecourse Cogeneration Plant is the first of many projects to be implemented under the Mackay Sugar 20-year Diversification Plan, with various other projects set to change the company’s financial and environmental footprint.